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City considers storing anti-overdose drug in public boxes

Posted May 10

— A Massachusetts city is considering a proposal to create publicly accessible boxes containing Narcan, the medication used to counteract opioid overdoses.

Cambridge officials say a passer-by who found someone suffering from an overdose could administer the drug before medics arrive. The proposal, still a long way from implementation, calls for the medicine to be stored in lockboxes in areas of high drug use. Dispatchers at 911 centers would give access codes to callers to open the boxes and explain how to use the drug.

Supporters of the plan ran a mock trial recently, placing a dummy on the ground in a busy area and asking volunteers to test the lockbox system. They hope it can stop the rise of opioid overdoses, which killed nearly 2,000 people in Massachusetts last year.

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